Henry Street Settlement opens doors of opportunity for Lower East Side residents and other New Yorkers through social services, arts, and health care programs.
Matthew Phifer, Deputy Program Officer for Youth Services and Workforce Development
Matthew Phifer’s passion for social services began in 1999 at Binghamton University. As an undergraduate, he was a teaching assistant for numerous Sociology and Africana Studies courses, which galvanized his passion for addressing the systemic ‘isms’ that persist to this day. While enrolled in college, he worked as a part-time Family Life Specialist for the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference, where he saw the connections between his studies and the harsh realities of poverty, marginalization, and lack of resources. As a first generation Educational Opportunity Program college student himself, Matthew’s own experiences helped reinforce the importance of educational equity, critical thought, culturally responsive pedagogy, and social emotional learning, particularly within young inner city communities of color. Upon graduation he joined the Henry Street Settlement as a Case Manager for the New Beginnings Alternative High School at the Boys and Girls Republic. He was responsible for counseling youth with severe attendance issues and one-year suspensions, as well as providing referrals and managing academic interventions with students. During his tenure at Henry Street Matt worked as the coordinator for the Summer Youth Employment Program, Director of Adolescent Education Services, and eventually Director of Education Services where he oversaw Henry Street’s adolescent, early childhood and after-school elementary educational services, which provide results-driven academic enrichment programming to more than 2000 inner-city youth annually. In his previous role as CollegeSpring’s New York Executive Director, he oversaw partnership development, fundraising, site management, and program execution. Matthew holds two BAs in Africana Studies and Sociology, as well as a Masters in Social Science with a concentration in Public Administration.
Brian McCollam, Henry Street’s Director of Education Services, has worked in adolescent social services for 11 years. He oversees Henry Street’s high school-based programming across four high schools including attendance improvement programs, transition to high school tutoring and enrichment programs, and SAT and academic intervention programs. Brian joined the Henry Street team in 2010 after working in adolescent incarceration and reentry services. Brian holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in social work from New York University.
Carol Carrozelli, Program Director, Early Childhood Education Photo and bio coming soon
Lauren Trueax, Education Director, Early Childhood Center Photo and bio coming soon
Aaron Cummings, Henry Street’s Director of After-School and Camp Services, joined Henry Street in September 2015, with ten years of experience in youth development and the nonprofit sector. His responsibilities include overseeing all after-school and camp programs, and maintaining cohesive partnerships with program stakeholders to ensure that youth and family needs are met. Aaron is a graduate of Adelphi University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and his master’s degree in sports management. Before joining Henry Street he served as a COMPASS Program Manager for the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).
Regina Ramirez-Perez, the Assistant Director of After-School and Camp Services, is a Lower East Side native and began her relationship with Henry Street at 4 years old, when she was enrolled in the agency’s Day Care Program. Regina has held several positions at the Henry Street Settlement and in the last 11 years has been the Program Coordinator first P.S. 134, then P.S. 20 where she took on the development of Henry Street’s largest largest after-school site, providing over 400 children with quality after-school programming. She holds a School-Age Child Care Credential from New York State and an Emerging Leader Certificate from Baruch College and the Directors Core Competencies Certificate from NYC Department of Youth & Community Development.
Leonor Colon, a native of the Lower East Side, has served as the Assistant Director overseeing BGR and Jacob Riis Cornerstone for the past six of her 12 years with Henry Street. She previously worked at the Settlement as a bilingual typist, activity specialist and self-government coordinator. Leonor is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
Shakira O’Kane, Director of High School and College Success Photo and bio coming soon